CV Water Counts, in partnership with the University of California, Riverside – Palm Desert Center, recently held the inaugural Water Counts Academy 2017, held at the University of California Riverside – Palm Desert campus.

The Water Counts Academy is designed for current and emerging leaders in the Coachella Valley who want to learn about the lifeblood of our valley—its water resources. We are excited to offer this comprehensive course that will cover the history, use and management of water here in the Coachella Valley.

The first class, held in November 2017, consisted of three weekday sessions on three consecutive Wednesdays from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, and one final full-day Saturday session, which included a tour and graduation ceremony.

There was no tuition/fee, and food and refreshments were provided during the class periods.

The Water Counts Academy 2017 sessions covered a variety of topics. Session One included: Overview of Agencies, Groundwater Basin, Community Water Needs, and From Source to Tap. Session Two covered: State Water Project/CA WaterFix, Colorado River, Water Quality, Recycled Water and Stormwater. Session Three addressed water and Golf, Agriculture, Drought/Conservation and Water Rates. The fourth and final Session, a full day tour, included: Whitewater Hydro, Percolation Ponds, Turf Conversion, Well Site, Reservoir, Treatment Facility, Farm, Lab, and Recycled Water.

Congratulations to the inaugural graduating class of Water Counts Academy 2017! Stay tuned for details regarding Water Counts Academy 2018.

If you’re interested in applying for a future Water Counts Academy Class, please sign up here.


Class of 2017

  • Francisco Alcocer, Michael Baker International
  • Nora Eliza Ayala, KLS Resorts
  • Thom Bettinger
  • Burton Boss
  • Sue Bunten
  • Roy Clark, Palm Springs Sustainability Commission
  • Eric Cowle, CVAG
  • Mike Erlinger, Harvey Mudd College
  • Liz Glass, Las Palmas Realty
  • Bente Jensen
  • De Karlen, Desert Adventures & Desert Institute in Joshua Tree National Park
  • Tracy Merrigan, Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley
  • Paul Ortega, Paul Ortega Landscape Design
  • Janell Percy, Growing Coachella Valley
  • Jose Luis Raya, Michael Baker International
  • Greg Rodriguez, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez
  • Kimber Rose
  • David William Ross
  • Steven Shuey, Personalized Property Management
  • Marcia Stone
  • Elizabeth Stowe, Esri